A small and intimate wedding wasn’t originally on the cards for this adventure-loving couple, Vicki and Tom.  They were finally married in May this year – but that had never been part of the plan!

Intimate Wedding Planning Begins

Having been together for seven years, Tom – a Bid Manager, proposed to Social Worker Vicki on a romantic Santorini holiday. They soon began planning a large wedding for 170 guests in Ireland, where Vicki’s family are based. Due to the global pandemic, they then looked for a rustic venue to host a small and intimate wedding with accommodation for all 30 guests in Devon – where Tom’s family are now based.

Embrace Each Change and Do Something Different!

Couple embrace outside in woodland. Bride wears while lace dress and carries bouquet of white flowers and foliage.

Two countries, two venues and four dates later – they eventually tied the knot in a pretty Devon church.  They chose Higher Holcombe as the intimate wedding party venue – with accommodation for all of their guests. Rather than being fazed by the adjustments they had to make – Tom’s advice is to embrace each change. His top tip is to see each challenge as an opportunity to do something different!  They decided to emphasize amazing hospitality. At the same time,they wanted to keep everything feeling intimate, really personal, very welcoming and memorable. They wanted what every couple wants – a wedding that everyone will love.

Rustic – Boho Wedding Styling

Describing her style as rustic-boho, Vicki wanted an elegantly rustic vibe that also reflected her Irish heritage. For her intimate wedding, she chose the colours of the Irish flag: green, white and gold with an exuberance of white flowers from no less than 2 florists! Her favourites, the tiny white gypsophila ‘baby’s breath’ were beautifully mixed with ‘Bells of Ireland’, early roses and late-spring peonies. The gorgeously garlanded tables were enhanced with luxurious eucalyptus including in a myriad of gorgeous boho greens.

Vicki selected gold pressed-glass candlesticks, cutlery and charger plates. The rustic tables were punctuated with white candles and generous foliage stems – which elevated the rustic wooden tables at the venue to a new and really rather lovely level of elegance. Metal pillars and a birch arch elegantly framed the top table back drop.  Everything was festooned with more flowers.  For this intimate wedding, the flowers were certainly the way that this styling statement was made!

banquet style wedding tables with rustic tables and wooden chairs. Tables set with gold chargers and gold cutlery and candlesticks white candles and green linen napkins. background is glazed windows and a pillar decoration with flowers on top

The Calm Before the Storm

The day before, both families had been allocated tasks to prepare and decorate the venue.  After all the preparations were complete, Vicki’s and her bridesmaids were ready for some relaxation. They enjoyed the evening by drinking prosecco as they strolled through the venue’s woodland glades in the soft spring sunshine. The next day however – the actual wedding day – so longed for – and so anticipated, brought a different weather story altogether!

Getting Ready for an Intimate Wedding

Even though it was raining outside, Vicki loved getting dressed with her Mum on hand.  She looked gorgeous in her elegant wedding dress and veil from Wed2b. Her bridesmaids were dressed in soft blue-green dresses from Oasis. Loolabells – a local  Devon florist –  made all the gorgeous spring green and white bouquets.  Keeping with the green theme, Vicki made her way to the nearby the village church in a cute as a button vintage VW Transporter. She was prepared for the rain and predicted wind storms with a pretty umbrella! What else is a bride to do?  Embrace it all!

Generous Irish Hospitality

A surprise garden reception after the intomate wedding ceremony was followed by the VW jaunt back to the venue.  They were accompanied by cocktails and the beginnings of serious Irish-style bountiful hospitality!  On arrival – guests could nibble  on the beautifully decorated charcuterie-style grazing boxes and a fruit studded ‘pimp your Prosecco’ station.  The food and drink plans were a central theme for this intimate wedding. Hospitality is central in Irish culture.  Vicki and Tom were clear about wanting everyone to be well fed and watered!

Mixing Up The fun

A chance to play some light-hearted vintage garden games added a great sense of fun and amusement.  This was such a great idea and meant that everyone could have a good giggle! There was quite a lot of energetic hula hooping by the bridesmaids. Tom’s enthusiastic Mum was determined to make the most of it all and was super keen to join in as well!

Bridesmaids in green dresses and black jackets hula hooping outside at a Devon woodland wedding venue

After the grazing boxes, a plethora of roasts were served with salads and delicious spring vegetables. With plenty of drinks available which everyone was able to help themselves to – it was kind of guaranteed that everyone would be happy! This was an important element of the day that both Vicki and Tom wanted for their intimate wedding.

Pass Me A Tissue

Then there were the speeches.  Thoughtfully projected videos of Vicki’s Irish family were screened on the wall.  There were messages of love, encouragement and support. This was where we could have done with a few more tissues – as there was not a dry eye in the house! Absent guests had been invited to add their suggestions to the dancing playlist.  What a wonderful way to include everyone who they had really wanted to be there!  After a fun-filled session creating a sparkler tunnel (that gets everyone smiling) – guess what?  More food!

Night-Time Munchies

A fabulous street food style pizza truck rocked up much later in the evening – with circus style lighting and a delicious list of tempting toppings.  The pizzas were so popular and everyone loved the great sense of fun created with the banter from the the Papavero team. The orders were made and served under the romantic  night-time festoon lighting. Plus of course – everyone was well fuelled to carry on dancing way into the night! Exactly as both Vicki and Tom had wanted.

Smiling wedding guests make a tunnel holding sparklers for the married couple to proceed

Stepping Back

It was a mutual love of travel that first brought this gorgeous couple together. Even though they’d grown up in the same village –  going to separate schools and having different friends meant that they weren’t destined to meet until they had both, separately, returned to their Nottingham base.  They had each enjoyed a year of travelling and adventure.  Tom had worked in and explored Australia whilst Vicki had back-packed around Europe as well as spending time in the USA.

Stepping Forward

Future travel plans for this determined couple include a honeymoon to Bali.  Until then, they have fitted in a mini-moon to Croatia and a long-awaited trip to Ireland where they are planning a relaxed Irish blessing in the church they were originally due to marry in.  This will be followed by a celebration in one of their local pubs in the West of Ireland.

Something comes to mind. . . the luck of the Irish . . .  I know that Vicki and Tom will have had a plethora of blessings sent their way.  I also know that indeed, the Irish know how to party – and I wish them every possible happiness and all the luck in the world!  Oh –  and thank you to you both for booking Higher Holcombe and for giving me permission to write about your beautuful intimate wedding!

Thanks especially to Jo Bradbury for their amazing photoographer for gorgeous pictures to share!

And here are the suppliers who were booked by Vicki and Tom

Loolabells and Busy Bee Florists

Video by Small Pine Films

Vicki’s Dress: Wed2b

Tom’s Suit: In Tweed

Bridesmaid Dresses: Oasis

Roast: Colyton Butchers

Grazing Boxes: Graze by Dish

Pizza: Papavero Pizza

Arch and Vintage Games: Rustic Love Hire

Tableware: Keeping it Vintage Hire

Cheesecake: West Country Cheese

VW Camper: Devon Dub Hire

Hair: EV Hair

Make-Up: Make-Up by Anna-Lisa